My 10-year-old gives me hope. She shows more humility, grace and dignity than some adults I know.
On Sunday, Rachel started Volleyball training with VolleyGirls, they junior group of Halton Volleyball Club who’s team is the Hurricanes. She has shown an interest in volleyball so we have tried to nurture it.
She did a small volleyball session with the Oakville Parks and Rec and she really enjoyed it. When our babysitter recommended VolleyGirls, we looked into it. The sessions fit into our already busy schedule.
On Sunday, I had asked about volleyball at school and she said that the tryouts had already happened. Rachel said that she didn’t think that she could play because she had already committed to being a lunch monitor. (Rachel volunteers in the JK/SK classroom at lunch to help the younger kids with opening containers and stuff like that.)
I really couldn’t fault her for being true to her commitments. But I tried to explain that there might be a way for her to work around it and make both work. So I emailed the teacher who coaches the grade 5-6 volleyball team and explained the situation. The teacher replied and said that most of the JK/SK teachers are willing to make extracurricular commitments work and rearrange schedules.
Armed with this knowledge, Rachel went to school yesterday with gym clothes and the plan to talk to the JK/SK teacher.
Since Craig and I were at the Bronze Medal Junior World Hockey game (Go Slovakia!), I didn’t get to find out how practice was until we got home.
Rachel, with sadness, said, “Mrs. Teacher thought your were the other Rachel’s mom. There isn’t any space on the team for me.”
My heart broke.
She had a bit of a quiver in her voice. She was disappointed but for the most part she seemed okay with it. I had to walk away.
I emailed the teacher back and said that I was sorry for the confusion and that Rachel was looking forward to next year. The teacher came back with some blah-blah about commitment and if Rachel had talked to her mumbo-jumbo.
Exactly. Honouring commitments is exactly what my kid was doing. Rachel didn’t realise that she could have made arrangements to cover her initial commitments so that doing both was a possibility; we had to explain this to her. Too late though.
Rachel didn’t cry. She didn’t get angry. She didn’t rant and rave. She sucked it up and said “It’s ok, Mom.”
Again I walked away. I needed wine.
I gave Rachel the biggest hug imaginable and said that I was proud of how she reacted and that I know a lot of adults who could learn from her. I said to her that she’s not always going to get the answer she wants. “But you tell me ‘No’ all the time, Mom.” I continued to explain that many people in her life will tell her no. Many people won’t give her what she wants and if she’s able to learn from it and move on, that she’s going to be one amazing adult.
The child in me wants to email the teacher back in ALL CAPS and give her a piece of my mind.
Rachel has taught me otherwise.
Win with humility, lose with grace, and do both with dignity!